Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Crispy Masala Carp!

You know you have a winner recipe for fish when a non fish loving bong suddenly takes fancy of your cooked fish, and eats three straight pieces of it! Her mom, almost teary-eyed on the call, wanted the recipe ASAP! And why wouldn’t she like it, I baked a well flavoured fish to perfect crisp, with minimal oil and served it with a raita (curd mixed with spices) and home-made chutney.

The fish in question is a mildly flavoured, white flesh of Rohu/ Rui/ Indian Carp. A very healthy protein but a tad bit less tasty than its colleagues from the sea. And that’s why, children never really like it so much. A bong kid like yours truly, has grown up eating this humble protein almost 265 days out of a year’s 365 days. We lose to see the charm of this modest species of fish, and it tends to get to the boring stage pretty easily. A bong mom has a lot of ways up her sleeve to make a kid enjoy this modest bite, and I added another one, one that’s easy to make, non fussy and very healthy!

This dish has another story too, a story that revolves around the coming rains. The Romance of Rains in Mumbai is a huge craze. And why won’t it be. The hot humid summer that we are going through is killing in every aspect! Can’t wait for that first drop of water on my forehead, for the cool sea breeze to fill my house and for me to sit by the window, enjoying this with an awesome glass of cool red wine!
On the first week of May, a group of food bloggers decided to choose a theme and post on it on one single stipulated date. So today, all of you are going to be amazed at the many rain themed recipes which is about to hit the internet, praying and hoping that the rains sweep in fast and rescue us from these inhuman temperature soars. We are ready to welcome the rain, and we want you to be too! This recipe is my submission to The Kitchen Ninja Challenge of this Month, ‘A Date with Mumbai Rains.’ The rest of it will be up on the following links:

Shanti Padukone from Riot of flavours
Samina Patel of The Cup Cake Confessions
Mohit Chotrani of Hungry Bawarchi
Pushpa Morjaani of Papad Chai
Jahan Bloch of Toxic Baker
Amrutha Langs of Amruthas Cookbook
Elson Sequeira from The Tummy Tale


6 pieces of steak style cut pieces of Rohu
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup All Purpose Flour (APF)
1 egg whisked with a few drops of water
1 cup packed pieces of toasted bread, ground in a processor
Olive oil to drizzle

For the flavourful garlic chutney for the marinade:

25 Garlic cloves
3 tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ tsp Cumin Seeds
2 tsp Coriander Powder
½ tsp Salt (or to taste)


Wash the fish and pat dry with a paper towel.

Make the garlic chutney by putting the ingredients in a mixer and pulse it till you get a paste. Add a bit of oil to aid mixing, if required!

Now smear the fishes with 2 tsp of this paste and keep it aside for a ½ an hour to an hour, more the better. The extra chutney could be stored for later use in a refrigerator.

Meanwhile, set up the dipping station. Spread out the flour on a flat plate, season well with salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish, break an egg and whisk it well with some water. Season it with salt and pepper.

In another plate, pour the fresh breadcrumbs and keep it ready.

Keep a baking tray ready with some oil on the bottom, to aid crisping of the fish.

Now, dip the marinated fish in APF, followed by the egg mix and finally coating it well with the bread crumbs. Repeat this step for all the six pieces, placing each on greased baking tray, a few cms apart. Keeping space in the middle will allow a more sincere and uniform crisping of the fish!

Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake these in a preheated oven of 200 degrees c for 20 minutes. Turn the pieces on the other side and return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes. After 30 minutes of cooking, check a piece by inserting a table knife on the fleshy part. If it cuts through without resistance, and all of the flesh is white, it’s done. If not, return to the oven for 5 more minutes with lower temperature of 170 degrees. It should be done by then!


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